Magome (”nāÄ) is a post town in the Kiso Valley, which served travelers of the Nakasendo, a major route connecting Tokyo with Kyoto during the Edo Period.

The town has been beautifully restored with a broad stone walkway lined with carefully tended foliage. Magome's embellished preservation contrasts with the rugged authenticity of neighboring Tsumago. The two towns are connected by the Magome-Tsumago Trail, a route which was part of the Nakasendo.

While exploring Magome, visitors will surely come across the name Shimazaki Toson. Born in Magome in 1872, Toson is a highly regarded figure in Japanese literature. In his novel Yoakemae (Before the Dawn), he famously describes life in the area during the early years of the Meiji Restoration. Its often quoted first line reads "The whole of the Kisoji lies in the mountains."

Honjin/Toson Memorial Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from December to March)
Closed: Wednesdays from December to February
Admission: 550 yen

Wakihonjin Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: December 15 through February
Admission: 300 yen

Tsuchimaya Shiryokan

Hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Closed: irregular closures in winter
Admission: 200 yen

Shimizuya Shiryokan

Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (8:30 to 16:30 from December to March)
Closed: irregular closures
Admission: 200 yen

Getting there and around

Magome is connected by bus with JR Nakatsugawa Station, the closest train station. The one way trip takes 30 minutes and costs 570 yen. Buses depart roughly once an hour (see timetable).

Magome can also be reached in about a 20 minute walk from the Magome highway bus stop, which is located in the Misaka parking area along the Chuo Expressway.

Nearby Tsumago can be reached from Magome by infrequent direct buses (see timetable) or by following the Magome-Tsumago Hiking Trail.

How to get to and around the Kiso Valley